The latest issue to discuss in the human resource management field is about unequal job opportunities available for women in the organization, or we can say that discrimination shown towards women in the organizations. This issue has been discussed and worked upon by UNO and various governmental and non-governmental organizations. However, even through governmental efforts these measures do not resolve the issue because it has to be addressed at the organizational level. The consequences of discrimination is not merely not giving jobs to someone but rather eventually it affects the overall employment scenario.
DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF GENDER:
Various discriminations shown towards women can be explained by analyzing each human resource management theory separately.
Wages and salaries is the award given for the mental and physical work done by a person in an organization over a period of time. Most of the time the women in organizations are not paid equal salaries or wages simply due to the fact that they are women. This is a discriminatory act. According to the Equal Pay Act 1970, women must be given the same pay if the job that she is doing is of equal value to that what a man does and if she is employed on like work.
There are many organizations, which pay women all the salaries, and wages according to the same policy that they adopt for a man. In cases when women is pregnant and is on a delivery leave, some organizations also grant women leave with pay e.g. P & G. And Lever Brothers.
There are some who do no such thing as they feel that women do not have the mental capability a man has. This is the reason why in some organizations women are not working at the level they should be working at the fact that they are not rewarded fairly enough and thus is not motivated. Hence their productivity decrease.
Motivation theories of Herzberg and Maslow state that the human needs should be fulfilled first and then the social, esteem needs. They give the maintenance and the motivational factors. This theory applies on men and women equally, as it states that the more you motivate a worker the more efficiently he will work. This applies to all the workers as in their theories they did not mention anything about applying a motivational concept to man and women separately. Obviously the needs of both the gender is different, so the way they will be motivated may differ. But both need motivation in order to work efficiently. If a company motivates its female employees along with the male then they will work as efficiently as male and this will lead an organization to the road of success. But a firm that demotivates its female through unequal opportunities, employees will not be productive or efficient in their work, with the fear that they will not get anything for their efforts.
The laws of dismissal applies in the same way for a man or a woman, that is, dismiss them if they do not work upto the mark or do not have the required skill, are not punctual, or have broken the organizations rule and regulations. One cannot dismiss the female employees simply because of the fact that 'she is pregnant.' A lot of companies that have done that were not supported by the law and a heavy suit was filed against them.
woman has all the leadership qualities as a man has. Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of UK for several years and she was a 'woman'. This shows that women do have leadership qualities and should be given legal rights and if they deserve it then a chance higher up the ladder. But besides this there are very less women who are in the directorship position even now with all the laws against discrimination.
While recruitment of new employees the company must take good care and not discriminate. One cannot hire employees simply because he is a male and is six feet tall. Job requirement needs skills and confidence along with education and experience. One can judge on this basis, but not on the basis of any thing else. Most of the companies hire women in their marketing department due to the fact that they will be able to 'woo' the client and have it their way and finally get the account. Women are kept in some companies for this purpose only. This is not fair and the firms can be sued against this kind of harassment.
LAWS AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT:
Three acts, THE SEX DISCRIMINATION ACT of 1975 and 1986 and the RACE RELATION ACT 1976 make it illegal to discriminate in all aspects of employment, e.g. job advertising, selection, terms of employment, promotion, training, dismissal and retirement. Discrimination means the less favorable treatment of a person by reason of sex, color, and race or ethnic or national origins. Employers are liable if their subordinates discriminate unlawfully. Indirect discrimination is also unlawful, i.e. applying a condition or requirement which, although applied to both sexes or to all racial groups, is such that a considerably smaller proportion of one sex or if one racial group can comply with it, unless the employer can show the condition to be justified. An example would be 'a requirement for a senior clerical post to be at least six feet tall.' The sex discrimination act also covers unfair discrimination against people who are married.
HOW ARE THE DISCRIMINATION PROBLEMS SOLVED:
There are various ways of solving this discrimination acts.
1) Complaint by individual complaint of sex or racial discrimination in employment is make to an industrial tribunal within three months of the act complained of. A conciliation officer may ask by both parties at this stage to settle the matter without a tribunal hearing or he may intervene on his own initiative. If a settlement cannot be reached in this way a tribunal will hear the case and if it decides in favor of he complainant it may award the following:
a) An order declaring the rights of both parties;
b) An order requiring the respondent, i.e. The employer, to pay the complainant damages;
c) a recommendation that the respondent should take a particular course of action within a specified time.
2) enforcement through statutory bodies:
the two acts set up the equal opportunities commission and the commission for racial equality receptively. these bodies have a general duty to work towards the elimination of discrimination and promote equal opportunity between sexes and between racial groups. they may also investigate relevant matters, institute legal proceedings in cases if persistent discrimination and in exceptional cases help individual complainants.
A if they find that an employer has contravened one of the legal provisions they may serve discrimination notices requiring the employer not to commit further unlawful acts. An employer may appeal against such notices to an industrial tribunal.
3) codes of practice:
both the EOC and CRE publish codes of practice setting out the steps to be taken to eliminate unfair discrimination and other employment matters. The codes offer practical guidance on how personal policies and procedures should be constructed in order to avoid discrimination, and how existing employees must be instructed about preventing contravention of the act when interviewing, dealing with subordinates, selecting staff for promotion, etc.
In order to avoid discriminations of any kind the government should make the Acts even stricter than before and punish and sue those companies harshly that are involved in this hideous issue. The non- govt. organizations should find out and help the got in these matters too and individuals should be given full support without legal harassment by the lawyers of such companies.